D-5 before the Sun Trip France!

In the last issue of Télérama magazine, the article entitled “Happy traveling differently” offers the reader to “give character” to his vacation by visiting Bourgogne-Franche Comté.
For my last test trips, I followed this advice with a tour of Southern Burgundy. Because testing your solar bike does not prevent you from discovering the heritage and the landscapes!
The excellent sunshine of yesterday allowed me to cover 207 km in just over 6 hours.

July 8: https://www.strava.com/activities/3724226040
July 7: https://www.strava.com/activities/3732906975

Training with the Solarduino Bike 2020 solar bike

Two months is the time, from May 11 (deconfinement) to July 11, to test and test my new solar vehicle. You have to work hard!
The challenge # 1: taming the recumbent bike, for me it’s brand new! Know its road behavior with the solar roof, with the trailer, in turns, potholes, in gusts of wind.
I also have to test the mechanical part, in particular the supports of the solar panels on the bike as on the trailer.
Finally, I need to know my new engine, its performance, its consumption …
A beautiful program!

Voir en plein écran

Date GPS Dist.
km
Déniv+
m
Durée
H : mn
Vitesse
km/h
Conso
Wh
Solaire
Wh
Régen
%
08-07 207 1290 06:11 33,5 1536 2456 4,1
07-07 103 800 03:08 32,9 707 1264 2,3
01-07 82 965 03:00 27,3 592 985 8,7
30-06 132 1245 4:15 31 881 955
27-06 55 768 1:55 28,5 370 424
26-06 72 430 2:19 31,1 465 441
23-06 157 1395 5:15 29,8 1085 2171
20-06 63 170 1:44 36,3 420 76
19-06 29 130 0:51 33,4 208 52
17-06 108 617 3:21 32,1 713 443
16-06 65 570 2:04 31,1 461 287
15-06 72 590 3:20 25,2
24-05 111 710 4:20 25,4
21-05 93 705 4:25 21
DateGPSDist.
km
Déniv+
m
Durée
H : mn
Vitesse
km/h
Conso
Wh
Solaire
Wh
21-01937054:2521,0
24-051117104:2025,4
15-06725903:2025,2
16-06655702:0431,1461287
17-061086173:2132,1713443
19-06291300:5133,420852
20-06631701:4436,342076
23-0615713955:1529,810852171
26-06724302:1931,1465441
27-06557681:5528,5370424
30-0613212454:1531,0881955
01-07829653:0027,3562176

Sun Trip 2020 France-China will not happen !

Today is June 1 that we were to set off for China!
For months, all of us, solar cyclists registered for the 2020 edition of the Sun Trip, have imagined ourselves en route to Guangzhou (Canton) in China. We dreamed of the countries we were going to cross. For some Turkey, Uzbekistan, for others Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and for all, China. We imagined discoveries, meetings, happiness and perhaps some misfortunes …

The images of the 2018 edition had largely contributed to fuel our imagination:

But the Sun Trip 2020 will not take place as we had dreamed!
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic!

Despite everything, the Sun Trip 2020 will take place in another form! Thanks to the energy and creativity of the organizing team! It will be Franco-French, over a period of one month, with a course of 3000 km.

Crossing a Chinese desert, on foot and in solar mode!

I discover this amazing video made by Olivier Coste. He designed a solar powered machine to carry his equipment in a desert environment: “Solar Explorer”. In 2018, he crossed the Badain Jaran Desert in China. His vehicle allowed him to tackle the highest dunes in the world loaded with more than 150 kilos of equipment, water and food. Without such a carrying system, these arid areas would be inaccessible to a single individual. Congratulations to Olivier for this innovation!

Sun Trip 2020 preparation seminar

Preparation for the Sun Trip 2020 was organized this weekend in Lyon. It brought together 30 participants from the fifty or so registered participants and took place in an atmosphere that was studious, fascinating and friendly.
To effectively prepare for this solar bike rally, many themes were addressed:
– administrative aspects, border formalities and visas,
– possible routes and variants,
– the cultural differences of the countries crossed,
– the operation of solar bikes, the technical regulations,
– monitoring of meteorology and its impact on navigation,
– communication: video, social networks etc …

This weekend also allowed everyone to meet the other participants. There were many informal exchanges, between conferences and workshops, around meals or over a beer, at all hours of the day and night!
It was an opportunity for rich meetings between experienced suntripers and newcomers, between French and English speakers, between technicians and travelers … The enthusiasm and the joy of sharing were visible on the faces.

Saturday evening, we celebrated the Chinese New Year in the presence of the Chinese Consul in Lyon and the 3 Chinese SunTrip managers. On Sunday, Luc Giros presented his tour of Europe: more than 18,000 km traveled on the solar bike used by Mickaël Joguet during the Sun Trip 2018.

We would like to thank Florian Bailly for organizing this fruitful moment, as well as all the members of the organization who contributed to the smooth running of the event: Béatrice and Yannick, Christophe Bayard (Vécolo), Benoit Ganivet, Annick-Marie who brilliantly provided case-simultaneous translation for non-French speaking participants.

The Suntriper Christophe Dugué interviewed by France 3 TV

Christophe Dugué participated in the Sun Trip Tour in 2017, and also in 2019 with his wife Stephanie. His professional world has allowed him to build himself powerful, rigid and lightweight solar panels. Indeed Christophe works at Photowatt, a French manufacturer of panels.
In front of the cameras of France 3, he talks to us about his motivations and his approach, and Stéphanie explains to us how much his solar bike helped her in the ascent of the big alpine passes.

Pour la planète : Christophe Dugué à vélo solaire

Parcourir les Alpes ou pourquoi pas rouler jusqu'à l'autre bout du monde en toute autonomie dans des conditions plus écologiques qu'en voiture ou en camping car, c'est l'avantage du vélo électrique solaire. Christophe Dugué s'est lancé en participant au Sun Trip, une course à vélo solaire unique au monde. #pourlaplanète The Sun Trip

Publiée par France 3 Régions sur Mercredi 20 novembre 2019

The photo album of July 12th, from Divonne-les-Bains to Chamonix

Find the images of the adventures of the 7th day of the Sun trip Tour 2019: the quiet journey with Ralf, Divonne-les-Bains to Sallanches where Jean joined us, and after Sallanches, the course of the day which switches after an unfortunate passage at a bike shop, the necessary break at a village party, and the late arrival in Chamonix due to technical problems.

Sun Trip Tour: (re) live on July 7 in pictures!

Find all the atmosphere of the 2nd day of the Sun trip Tour 2019 in the photo album of July 7th: From Saint-Flour to Cheylade, the landscapes of Cantal, swimming, camp, meal, dusk on the lake waterfalls… Pictures + short videos:

Sun Trip Tour: the atmosphere of July 6th in photo!

Find all the atmosphere of the first day of the Sun trip Tour 2019 in the photo album of July 6th: the presentation of the bikes on the place of the Town Hall of Puy-en-Velay, the first kilometers through the landscapes of the Haute-Loire, the valley of Allier until Saint-Flour.

Pictures + short videos:

Sun Trip Tour: review of distances and height differences

This Sun Trip Tour 2019 was slightly sportier than the 2017 edition, a little more kilometers and more altitude. But everyone had the freedom to choose the easiest or most difficult routes. And the suntripers who dreamed of winning the challenge of the best climber had to blow up their counters, especially for the elevations more than for the distances! For me, the routes were constrained by the different repairs to be done more by the sporting challenges. But I still managed to pass passes deemed difficult, such as the Col de Finestre and Col d'Agnel, with beautiful landscapes.

Date juilletDépartArrivéeDuréeDistanceDénivelé+Trace GPS
3DijonL'Arbresle06:38201 km1410 m
6Le-Puy-enVelaySaint-Flour05:47102 km1867 m
7Saint-FlourCheylade03:5061 km1137 m
8CheyladeSaint-Ours05:56116 km1938 m
9Saint-OursL'Arbresle07:26188 km1699 m
10L'ArbresleVillars-les-Dombes02:3154 km392 m
11Villars-les-DombesDivonne-les-Bains05:52134 km1666 m
12Divonne-les-BainsChamonix07:14133 km1809 m
13ChamonixBourg-St-Maurice06:45126 km3032 m
14Bourg-St-MauriceLanslebourg04:1480 km2280 m
16LanslebourgPinerolo05:48113 km2658 m
17PineroloMolines-en-Queyras07:58124 km2664 m
18Molines-en-QueyrasAspres-sur-Buëch05:06136 km2311 m
19Aspres-sur-BuëchCrest02:59102 km719 m
20CrestValence01:1436 km216 m
TOTAL1 781 km26 170 m

To take the train with a solar bike !

The after Sun Trip Tour: from Valence to Dijon via Châlon-sur-Saône

On July 20th, I leave Valence in TER to join Châlon-sur-Saône. I use the idea that guided the design of my solar vehicle: to take the train. Principles: – a standard bike is always accepted in the TER and in some TGV, – the trailer is acceptable with the panel vertically, it does not take more space than a bike. For the moment, I have taken the train a dozen times in France and Switzerland, I have never been opposed to refusal.

If necessary, we can reduce the length by sliding the 3rd panel on the 2nd, in less than 10 minutes.

In some trains (TGV and Lyria), we can create the equivalent of a cover with trash bags and big scotch (and for the bike, disassembly of the wheels, and when I have the time, pedals and handlebars before putting it in a bag).

July 21, I finish cycling back to Dijon, at 34 km/h average speed.

From Divonne-les-Bains to Chamonix

Sun Trip Tour 2019 – 7th day
We start from Divonne-les-Bains in procession, then we scatter each at our own pace. Some choose the main route with a simple route, others prefer the route drawn by Vécolo, on small roads with calmer traffic, but more tortuous. The sun is full, and our batteries remain 100% charged throughout the day.

At the end of the afternoon, telling a bike shop, I decided to have my rear derailleur adjusted. But bad luck gets involved: the young mechanic can not do it, too bad, I'm leaving. But I will discover a few miles later that the controller does not work anymore: I can not change gears. It's past 7pm, the store no longer answers the phone. I have the morale in the socks because we have to attack a long coast to Chamonix. Ralf and Jean cheer me up, they will accompany me to destination whatever happens. By hand, I install the chain on the largest pinion and we begin the climb. Halfway through, a village party allows us to regain strength. We arrive at the cottage around 21:20 where we will be greeted by the cheers of other sun-trapters!


Copyright Zeppelin

From Villars-les-Dombes to Divonne-les-Bains

SunTripTour2019 – July 11th, 6th day In the crossing of the Dombes until the Ain, I appreciated the adobe buildings (groomed earth in a banche) and in the walls, the use of the pebbles in a decorative way in association with the brick. This morning, veiled sun, the panels produce 50W, it is necessary to roll with precaution, not to push the assistance. The improvement of the mid-day does not continue the afternoon, too bad! The itinerary prepared by Vécolo, through fields and woods, is very pleasant. But after a few kilometers of chaotic dirt road along a river, we decide to find a more rolling track. The Komoot application takes us on small roads without traffic, it's a treat. And this is how we find Olivier and Norbert, Catherine and Jean-Michel, who also use this application. Arrival in Divonne-les-Bains: Ann, Peter and I arrive together, we are interviewed by a lady very interested in our bikes; she posts her video immediately on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzx3cZ9Hu0q/?igshid=bxqo5bharnzh Thanks to the city of Divonne-les-Bains for giving us this hearty meal! PS: surprise at 3am: automatic watering starts on the beach, it's panic in the camp. Norbert and Olivier are the most affected, their duvets sound soaked. Benoit takes a laugh. Bikes have nothing. I am relieved because in a half sleep, the crackling of jets made me think of a battery fire.

From L'Arbresle to … Villars-les-Dombes

Sun Trip Tour 2019 – July 10, Day 5 A day like the others: this morning, the attachment of my trailer broke (Dirke had noted this weak point while examining my bike), it is normal, the diameter of the bolt was too weak. I continued to Villefranche-sur-Saone by fixing the drawbar with 2 Rilsan (these necklaces are great!). Finally, I imagined a solution that will be more durable, I hope: at a garage I soldered the fastener directly on the wheel nut. Thanks to this welder who saved me! I make a break for various repairs and suddenly, I drive little: 25 km in the morning and 30 km in the evening. Cherry on the cake: I have new shoes, it's great because by dint of braking with the feet, the others had more sole! Life is beautiful …… until tomorrow! And tomorrow, what will be the challenge, the problem situation?

From Saint-Ours – Vulcania Park, in L'Arbresle

4th day of the Sun Trip Tour: 9th of July A beautiful morning at the Vulcania Park, the public discovered all the prototypes of solar bikes, we took advantage of the Park's animations. Special mention for the packed lunch with local and artisan dishes served in glass containers. Departure by caravan then the 55 participants scattered to follow varied routes: we have indeed 3 days to arrive at Divonne-les-bains, about 325 km. I traced straight through Thiers where I met Christophe Bayard and Silvia Plozner. Thanks to a faithful sun throughout the day, I managed to reach L'Arbresle at 20:30, after 187km of road. Nice day, the heat wave has finally left it helps to pedal! https://www.relive.cc/view/2518501243

From Cheylade to Saint-Ours-les-Roches

Sun Trip Tour – July 8, 2019: Everyone cares about this day of 120 km with a lot of elevation. Me, I have other concerns, in the first place, my brake pads that weaken again: after an hour of driving, I am forced to brake with feet to go down to Condat! Fortunately, Gilbert and Jean de Vécolo are waiting for me: they have been warned of my worries by my friends. Thanks to them, I can find in Super-Besse 3 pairs of pads of the right model! I warmly thank Fred of VTT ÉVASION for having kept in his store these plates became vintage today. Thanks to Vécolo's friends without whom rescue would not have been possible! But another surprise awaits me: my solar panels no longer produce 1 Watt! I put 1 hour to find the fault: the fuses of my solar regulators melted to the heat. I beckon on the side of the road, it is Gisele who saves me by offering me two beautiful new fuses. Thank you Gisele! It is almost 13:30 and I have 100 km and a lot of altitude! I will arrive at my destination at 8 pm, in extremis for the meal!